Association of HIV-Induced Immunosuppression and Clinical Malaria in Nigerian Adults
Despite the growing body of evidence on the interaction between HIV and malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, there is a dearth of data on clinical malaria in HIV-infected patients in Nigeria. We determined the burden of clinical malaria in HIVinfected adult Nigerians and further investigated the association between their immunological status and the rates of clinical malaria. Ninety seven antiretroviral treatment-naïve HIV-infected adults were enrolled in a cross-sectional study from August to December, 2009. The participants had a complete clinical evaluation, thick and thin blood films for malaria parasites and CD4 cell count quantification. Clinical malaria was defined as having fever (temperature ≥ 37.5oC or history of fever within 48 hours) and a malaria parasite density above the median value obtained for subjects with co-existing fever and parasitaemia. Clinical malaria was diagnosed in 10 out of 97 patients (10.3%). Lower CD4 cell counts were associated with increasing rates of clinical malaria which was 0% at CD4 cell count of ≥ 500, 2.6% at 200-499 and 30% at <200 cells/μL (χ2 = 18.3, p = 0.0001). This association remained significant after controlling for other factors in a multivariate analysis (AOR=22.98, 95% C.I: 2.62-20.14, p = 0.005). An inverse relationship between CD4 cell count and parasite density was demonstrated (regression co-efficient = -0.001, p = 0.0002). More aggressive malaria control measures are highly needed in severely immunosuppressed HIV-infected patients.
Keywords: HIV, Immunosuppression, Clinical malaria, Adults